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Local Democrats Endorse City Council Incumbents

West Hollywood Democratic clubs overwhelmingly vote to back Prang and Duran.

Local Democrats this week endorsed West Hollywood City Council incumbents in the 2013 election.

On Monday the Stonewall Democratic Club voted 111-15 to support Mayor Jeffrey Prang and 89-38 for Councilman John Duran. The West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club tally on Wednesday was 70-9 for the incumbents. 

Stonewall Democratic Club President Stephen Simon said "there is a strength in being an incumbent. ... Both Jeff and John are known entities to us."

The Stonewall meeting wasn't without controversy. Candidate Steve Martin sharply criticized Duran, which prompted club member Ed Buck to deliver a scathing critique of Martin.

"We've seen some ugly campaigning and some ugly speeches," Simon said in reference to Martin, who spoke against endorsing the incumbents. "I just don't think my membership responds well to that."

Martin reportedly chastised Duran for what he called a "misogynistic slur" against former state Assembly candidate Torie Osborn, according to WeHo News. Duran accused Osborn of stacking a Weho/Beverly Hills meeting with her supporters in order to secure the endorsement.  

"My comments about Duran being a misogynist arise from his verbal assault on ... Torie Osborn, a long time lesbian activist and former executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Center," Martin said in an email to Patch.

He described an incident last year when Osborn received the Weho Dems' endorsement:

"Duran interrupted her acceptance speech saying, 'This is bullshit. We are not all lesbians.'  I am not quite sure exactly what Duran was trying to accomplish with his tirade, but it was pretty bizarre. ... I understand an objection about the process, but what does 'we are not all lesbians' have to do with anything?"

Duran did not respond to a request for comment.

Buck, a longtime political activist, Weho resident and former council candidate, told Patch he was next in line to speak after Martin and felt compelled to respond.

"He has no case, so he's going to go off and personally attack a guy like John Duran," Buck said.

Simon noted that despite the club's support for incumbents, some 2013 challengers have potential for future political success.

"We interviewed some other candidates and we thought some of them were very good, and some of them needed to be a little more seasoned, a little more experienced," said Lillian Raffel, president of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club. "The incumbents are very popular and well-liked, and people feel that they do a good job and don't deserve to be fired."

Prang, a former president of the West Hollywood Democratic Club, noted the advantage of being a familiar face to club members.

"The Democratic clubs are very much all politics at their very base," Prang said. "They are a lot of give-and-take, a lot of relationship, a lot of history goes into these sort of decisions."

Prang added that his opponents "often times like to dismiss (political clubs) as the instruments of the powers that be, and that's simply not the case. People involved in the Democratic clubs are very involved in politics and governance."

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allegra January 19, 2013 at 04:38 PM
It seems clear that they are the instruments of the powers that be. Both of the clubs endorsed Lindsey Horvath over John D'Amico, Abbe Land over Mike Fuer & Betsy Butler over Richard Bloom. Most people at the Stonewall meeting were not West Hollywood residents. I cancelled my membership to Weho Dems before the meeting, because of their secret Christmas party endorsement meeting. Talk about personally attacking a “guy like, John Duran... It was Ed Buck who ran his own Dump Duran campaign a few years back. He photoshopped John Durans picture to make him look like a reptile and put up posters all over town. They read “West Hollywood Mayor...John Duran, sold out to developers...Vote March 8th Dump Duran”.
George January 19, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Lets just hope the residences who were present when council member Duran lashed out at them during the planned Plummer Park renovations will remember that before going to polls? The folks have every right to speak there mind as citizens of the community they live in. Shame on you John Duran! Do we want a condescending you know what representing West Hollywood? NO!
Ed Buck January 19, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Yes, over a decade ago, I was a critic of John Duran. He listened to the critiques and in the end changed his votes on numerous issues as a result, like Save Tara. Now Allegra, he even heard our pleas to change his vote, and was a critical vote to Save Tara. He listened to you too Allegra. You see, John Duran does listen to West Hollywood residents and the fact that he has won over some of his fiercest critics is a great testament to his connection to our community.
Mike Dolan January 19, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Allegra, the Weho Dems have suffered no lose with your cancelled membership. Goodbye and good riddance. You have a very nasty, bitter attack dog style to your blogs which only reflects on you and your causes. Steve Martin has never and will never measure up to the quality of community activist and leader that we have in John Duran. The majority of Weho residents new when to vote Steve Martin out-of-office and they won't be fooled in voting him back in. He was bad for Weho then and is more than ever now.
me January 19, 2013 at 07:14 PM
that may be your experience ed, but duran is "almost" worse than heilman in that he's pretty damn lazy in his capacity as a coucil member....he puts nothing forward ever and isn't interested in what the reidents think except when he's forced to listen to them at concil meetings....he has never come to our neighborhood meetings over the years and quite frankly, i personally find him to be boring too....i've asked numerous times for a list of their accomplishments while in office from council members but nobody seems to have one.....really???....please, someone, ANYONE, tell me what these fools have done for our city except take developer money, schmooze celebs like giddy kids, and spend city money foolishly....i've only received 2 weho mailers thus far...one from duran with important city phone #'s and one from prank (i mean prang) with board & comission meeting info, all of which is on the city website and in our annual newsletters....THANKS GUYS, GREAT WAY TO AVOID THE ACTUAL ISSUES IN OUR CITY!!!
joninla January 19, 2013 at 07:50 PM
@Paul .... But for a total lack of drive & initiative (and basic computer/video editing skills) I wanted to clip together some of the more choice idiotic/self agrandizing/offensive statements from the open public meetings. I give the idea freely to you if you (ot anyone wants to) but I HIGHLY SUGGEST only using a few of the better "DURAN-ISIMS" since nobody wants to sit through potentially hours of DuranDrivil that a collectiom from the all the public meetings would would produce. anyone can download the meetings from the city site www.weho.org and perhaps post to youtube. ps for anyone who hates how needlessly long the meetings are and thef uncomfortable seating in our wonderful new city council chambers ..... If you download the meetings you can ff/skip the first hour(s) of useless nonsense and sound is great online.
joninla January 19, 2013 at 07:56 PM
AS FOR THE DEMS ENDORCEMENT ... This is a city council election (for a particularly small city) and should not be about Party Endorcements or the two party spiriling down 2 party election process for federal/national elections. Of course weho had an extraordinaryly high democratic demographic. We don't need the Dem's butting in to our local city elections (street sweeping, trash removal, potholes, parking are NOT PARTISAN ISSUES).
Woody McBreairty January 20, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Allegra is absolutely right that this club has recently trended toward endorsing the losers, including Land, Horvath and Butler. Their endorsements don't mean a hill of beans to serious voters, in fact serious voters don't even know about it. Otherwise, it's the same petty politics, same bickering people, same crap, different year. Enough already. That's why I'm voting for Steve Martin, and that is my "endorsement".
Ali January 20, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Personally, I don't give a rat's a** what partisan clubs have to say. I can make up my own mind. And my mind says that we need new blood on the Council. Duran only seems to care about his "constituents" in "Boystown". Just the very fact that they want to name a part of town, that is visited by people from all over the world, in such a way tells a lot about our current Council. Vote both Prang and Duran OUT!
Ali January 20, 2013 at 01:54 AM
and don't forget about what they wanted to do to Plummer Park!
Ed Buck January 20, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Woody, Allegra, et al. When you say loser(s), you must certainly put Steve Martin at the top of that list. No one in West Hollywood history has been rejected by the voters more often than Mr. Martin. I've lost count, But I think he's lost 5, maybe 6 times in a row. This on top of the distinction of being the only elected councilmember to have been thrown out by the voters. (Horvath was appointed). If, as some of you say, "It's time for new leadership", good, go for it . But Martin is not new. He is, as you put it, the same bickering people, same petty politics, same crap, different year.
George January 20, 2013 at 06:26 AM
Lots of nasty comments coming from the Duran, Prang supporter. Guess the truth hurts? I agree with Ali. Also, I have known Steve Martin a long time and he has been an advocate to the residence all along. Shame on anyone to try and discredit his record. Prang wouldn't even be were he is today without Steve Martin's help. Jeff lived in Steve's house in the 90's.
me January 20, 2013 at 06:33 AM
i'm by no means suggesting that it's the same ed buck who has commented here, but when were having major issues with the davis brothers and their club voyeur, ed buck was on our team demanding answers to the many problems/issues that affected the neighborhood greatly....then, on the turn of a dime, the ed buck we know, changed his tune and was a major supporter of the club overnight....some in the neighborhood have suggested that the ed buck we know got a pay-off to tone it down....surely there are two ed bucks, right???
GoodGriefCharlieBrown January 20, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Why does it not surprise me that Prang was living in someone else's house?
Mike Dolan January 20, 2013 at 07:11 AM
The level to which these blogs always deteriorate is common and predictable. Steve Martin you should be so proud of your following, and I am not surprised you are. Steve Martin's record (or lack there of) speaks volumes but that would mean nothing to your supporters but it does to all that remember exactly who you were and are. We voted you out and I hope you stay out only for the good of West Hollywood.
me January 20, 2013 at 07:30 AM
HA!....read your first sentence.....or doesn't it apply to YOU?.... oh, and what is it that you "remember" ?????
George January 20, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Steve is at ever meeting and the most outspoken, so I am not surprised that there are the same ole supporters of these incompetent council members who want them making important decisions like the purposed Plummer Park renovations. That's a perfect example at how they handled things and when the folks spoke up they were told to shut up by John Duran. He later apologized but that was only to do damage control. People were shocked at his outburst at the time.
Ken C January 21, 2013 at 04:40 PM
I'm voting to send the incumbents walking. We are long due for change. I've seen council members skirt around thier own laws to support development. One example now leaves a condo taller than the cities' code allows in my neighborhood. I get that the city needs revenue, but selling out to developers is not the answer. We lose faith in you when you can't abide by your own rules regardless of the circumstances. Steve Martin may be heavily criticized, but he dares to challenge and cares deeply about our city. I want a council member who has the balls to be outspoken and willing to challenge council members who have become lax because they are so deeply rooted in their position, experience and associations. I also believe that some new blood, someone who has never sat on the council would be good for change. Vote to change out the two seats up for re-election!
JJMP January 24, 2013 at 08:25 PM
If you really want to laugh, then GO VISIT A WEST HOLLYWOOD DEMOCRATIC CLICK (CLUB) MEETING - a small bunch of really, really old people who, I think, have 100% of the time voted for incumbents. Usually there are about 35 TOTAL MEMBERS who vote & that includes both Beverly Hills and West Hollywood residents. The only reason there were 2x the average # of voters at the last meeting were all of John Duran's "New Members" who all sat in the back few rows and couldn't wait to go to dinner together afterwards. I would bet huge $ we will never see them again. The way they run this Click, A good portion are appointees of committees or city employees. It is the most UN-democratic joke. I used to look at the mailers with interest, and stupidly took the endorsement cards to the polls. This is NOT A LEGITIMATE GROUP - they are a bunch of entitled losers with nothing better to do. As for me, I am going to look carefully at our choices. DURAN NEEDS TO GO...really.
hahahaha January 24, 2013 at 08:40 PM
oh....have another drink ed

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